Flickr photo by NESRI
In a primetime speech that had been highly anticipated, Obama made it clear that it was time to stop the bickering and get the job done. He addressed some of the lies and myths Republicans had been spreading and he explained why he would like to not simply scrap the for-profit health care system that had created so many of America's problems.
Obama concluded his speech by describing to Congress what the last days of Ted Kennedy's life had been. He read a part of Kennedy's letter that Kennedy had wanted delivered upon his death and proceeded to use Kennedy to compel Congress and Americans skeptical of reform that reform could contribute to the greater good of society.
The speech put forth a good argument for moving reform forward in Congress, but it was also a blunt reminder to those who think health care should be a human right and not a privilege that Obama has no problem with protecting the interests of private health insurance companies.
Americans were constantly referred to as consumers who would appreciate "choice" and "competition." He explained how a "market exchange" would be setup and it would keep prices down (hopefully). But, what if Americans no longer want health care to be something they have to go shopping for?
What if Americans doubt the capacity of government to change the nature of the beast?
What if they want to take the market out of market-based health care due to what they know about the history of health maintenance organizations and how they will always be interested in what's profitable and not what's cost-effective?
Obama may not think he is intentionally making it difficult for Democrats and progressives to maintain momentum in the fight for health care reform, but some Americans disagree with the fact that much of the proposal stops short of what the fierce urgency of now should compel Americans to work toward.